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Hormone alters electric fish’s signal-canceling trick



Newswise — During the rainy breeding season, the underwater “conversation” among electric fish changes. Fish revved up to make a match broadcast slightly different signals to advertise their presence and identify compatible mates.

New research from Washington University in St. Louis shows that the hormone testosterone — which naturally triggers male electric fish to elongate the electric pulses they send out during the breeding season — also alters a system in the fish’s brain that enables the fish to ignore its own electric signals. The study by biologists Matasaburo Fukutomi and Bruce Carlson in Arts & Sciences is published in Current Biology.

All animals, from electric fish to elephants, need to have ways to discriminate between the signals that they share themselves versus signals or stimuli from others. Accurately perceiving and acting upon information from others can make all the difference for reproduction and survival.

The electric fish known as mormyrids send out electric pulses as signals; they also have developed a way to ignore or block their own messages. A system called corollary discharge inhibits the fish’s sensory perception for a brief, well-defined period of time after it releases an electric pulse — allowing it to prioritize messages from others, such as potential mates.

Previous studies have shown that testosterone treatment affects electric organs in mormyrids. Adding testosterone to a fish’s system causes changes to their behavior by extending the length of the signals that male fish produce. This new research is the first to describe how hormone treatment also alters the fishes’ signal perception in a coordinated way.

It all boils down to a straightforward question of timing control, the study co-authors said.

“Testosterone adjusts corollary discharge timing in order to continue ignoring self-generated behavior,” said Fukutomi, first author of the new study and a postdoctoral fellow in biology. “Circulating testosterone independently regulates the behavioral output of the electric organ and the corollary discharge that predicts the sensory consequences of that behavior.”


Fukutomi and Carlson hope these findings pave the way for future studies on the underlying mechanisms for how testosterone alters electric fishes’ behavior and perception. Additional research also could help resolve whether the same mechanisms are involved with both seasonal and evolutionary changes in electric fish. Such research will help bridge the gap between neurons and behavior by revealing how hormones alter the function of neural circuits through their actions on individual cells.

“Early pioneering studies in this system paved the way toward better understanding of corollary discharge across animals, including humans, and this system continues to shed new light on corollary discharge function,” said Carlson, a professor of biology.

Journal Link: Current Biology

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Bioluminescent Waves in San Diego: A Captivating Coastal Phenomenon

“Experience the enchanting glow of bioluminescent waves along San Diego’s coast, a mesmerizing natural phenomenon caused by phytoplankton.”



Bioluminescent waves have become a captivating spectacle along the coast of San Diego County, attracting scores of SoCal residents eager to witness this natural phenomenon firsthand. The mesmerizing glow is caused by tiny light-producing organisms called dinoflagellates, which reside in the ocean. When these phytoplankton are agitated by waves or splashing, they emit a beautiful luminous display.

Recently, the bioluminescent waves have been observed in various locations including Point Loma, Sunset Cliffs, Blacks Beach, La Jolla Shores, Encinitas, Carlsbad Beach, Tamarack Beach, and Oceanside. The unpredictability of these blooms adds to the excitement, as one never knows when or where they will occur.

For San Diego residents hoping to experience the magic of bioluminescent waves, a few tips can enhance their chances. First, checking with local aquariums and maritime institutes such as the Birch Aquarium, the Aquarium of the Pacific, and the Ocean Institute can provide updates on bioluminescence sightings. These institutions often share information on their websites or social media platforms.

Finding a dark location away from artificial light is crucial for optimal viewing. Experts recommend heading to the shore before the moon rises, approximately two hours after sunset. This way, the darkness amplifies the glow, and the waves become even more enchanting.

Tracking hotspots is another useful strategy. The best locations for witnessing bioluminescent displays can vary from night to night. By monitoring social media platforms and hashtags associated with bioluminescence, residents can stay informed about the latest hotspots and plan their visits accordingly.

The return of bioluminescent waves to the San Diego coastline has sparked a sense of wonder and awe among locals. It’s a reminder of nature’s remarkable beauty and the extraordinary phenomena that unfold right in our own backyard. So, grab your camera, head to the coast, and immerse yourself in the captivating glow of bioluminescent waves.

To learn more about the topic, please read further: The surf is sparkling with neon light. Here’s where to see bioluminescence at San Diego County beaches.

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Kia partner, The Ocean Cleanup, delivers record 55-ton ocean plastic haul 



  • Kia global partner, The Ocean Cleanup, sets a new record for the amount of plastic reclaimed from the world’s oceans
  • 55 tons of ocean plastic delivered to Victoria, Vancouver Island, Canada
  • Plastics will be recycled; proportion to be used in future Kia models under multi-year partnership
  • Catch delivered to shore from 1.6-million-square kilometer Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP) by The Ocean Cleanup’s System 002
  • The Ocean Cleanup announces scale-up to largest-ever System 03 in ongoing mission to remove 90% of floating ocean plastic by 2040
  • Initiative aligns with Kia’s mission to become a sustainable mobility solutions provider
  • Kia remains committed to more than 20% increase in plastic reuse by 2030 and achievement of carbon neutrality by 2045
  • View film of record ocean plastic reclamation here 

SEOUL, South Korea /PRNewswire/ — Kia plans to use recycled plastic from a 55-ton haul recently reclaimed from the Pacific Ocean in its new EV models. The record-breaking amount of plastic reclaimed by Kia’s global partner, The Ocean Cleanup, marks the next phase in a seven-year global partnership agreed in April 2022 as part of Kia’s transformation into a leading sustainable mobility solutions provider.

The Ocean Cleanup, the international non-profit project with the mission of ridding the oceans of plastic, landed its plastic catch at Victoria, Vancouver Island, Canada. The record catch was removed from the Pacific Ocean using The Ocean Cleanup’s System 002 extraction technology following a voyage through the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP).

Recycling of the plastic will begin shortly, and Kia will use a proportion of the material in future models. This policy aligns with Kia’s commitment to provide sustainable mobility solutions that have a measurable impact on achieving sustainability at scale.

Charles Ryu, Senior Vice President and Head of the Global Brand & CX Division at Kia Corp., commented: “The record catch of plastic brought to shore by The Ocean Cleanup is tangible proof of how technology can deliver sustainable solutions at scale. Initiatives such as this one perfectly align with Kia’s transition to a sustainable mobility solutions provider and our Plan S strategy, through which we embrace the needs of our customers and the protection of our environment by acting as a responsible corporate citizen.”

For more information, visit the Kia Global Media Center at www.kianewscenter.com

SOURCE Kia Corporation

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Overcoming Barriers to Fire Ant Allergy Treatment

Addressing barriers to fire ant allergy treatment: A case study highlighting solutions for improved access and outcomes.



A recent case study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice sheds light on the obstacles faced by families seeking venom immunotherapy for fire ant allergies. The study focuses on a 4-year-old boy from New Orleans, Louisiana, who suffered a severe allergic reaction after being stung by fire ants. Dr. John Carlson, a pediatric allergy and immunology specialist at Ochsner Health, led the research.

Red Fire Ant
« Case Study: Overcoming Barriers to Venom Immunotherapy for Fire Ant Allergy Patients

The Prevalence of Fire Ants:
The study reveals that fire ants, particularly the black and red imported species, have become widespread in the southeastern United States. In fact, a staggering 58% of New Orleans residents reported being stung by fire ants in the past year. Despite efforts to avoid these stings, individuals with a history of anaphylaxis still face the risk of being stung.

Barriers to Treatment:
While venom immunotherapy has been proven safe and effective, accessing adequate treatment remains a challenge. The study suggests that forming broader coalitions involving community partners, patient advocacy groups, physicians, and lawmakers is essential to addressing the overlapping hazards faced by families living in poverty.

Collaborative Solutions:
Dr. Carlson emphasizes the need for exploring all available resources to assist families with transportation barriers, lack of childcare, and difficulty taking time off from work. To create sustainable change in underserved communities, it is crucial for all stakeholders to work together. Parents of children with fire ant allergies must have access to life-saving immunotherapy treatments.

Investing in Marginalized Communities:
Investing in marginalized communities is particularly important to mitigate the effects of exposures on child health. The study underscores the importance of engaging in dialogue with families, schools, clinics, and other stakeholders to identify the best strategies for improving access to care and achieving more equitable outcomes.

Call to Action:
This case study serves as a call to action, raising awareness of the barriers faced by fire ant allergy patients and their families. By fostering collaboration among healthcare professionals, community partners, and policymakers, meaningful change can be achieved, leading to improved access to vital treatments for those in need. Together, we can overcome barriers and ensure better outcomes for fire ant allergy patients.

Source: Ochsner Health

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